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Re: discussion - thirsty libya

Released on 2013-02-20 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 3420452
Date 2011-08-31 03:34:11
From zeihan@stratfor.com
To analysts@stratfor.com
Re: discussion - thirsty libya


Yeah - lots conflicting
We'll need to dive deeper
One v important new point; you can kill the GMR by severing electricity
That makes it much easier to take the whole thing down
I'm gonna slp on it and put together a Q&D piece first thing in the am
that highlight what we think we know and what we need to know (intel
guidance style, but more technical)

On Aug 30, 2011, at 8:05 PM, Bayless Parsley
<bayless.parsley@stratfor.com> wrote:

Peter, read this one too and compare the stories:

Writer please let me know if space is an issue so we can paraphrase as
necessary or break into separate reps. [CR]

I underlined a lot so that we can fit it all in a rep, but the main
points to take away are this:

- The claim being made here by this NTC official named Aref Ali Nayeb is
that the reason there is a water shortage in Tripoli is due to the
activity of pro-Q forces in the desert way south of Tripoli, near the
source of the western system of the GMMR at the Jebel Hassouna.
- Pro-Q forces apparently cut the electricity in this region, and when
engineers tried to bring the pumps at Jeben Hassouna back online, they
were fired upon
- There are talks going on right now about how to get these crews back
to the job site, but security is obviously an issue

- There is no mention at all of the Sirte connection as being
responsible for the water shortages in Tripoli, unlike the other article
that is on alerts about this.

- Nayeb's claims are backed up by a statement from a spokeswoman for the
EU humanitarian office (this is ECHO, whose report was cited in the
other rep, which, strangely, claimed that it was the Sirte connection
that is to blame for the water shortage) [BP]

Gadhafi loyalists blamed for Tripoli water crisis
KARIN LAUBKARIN LAUB, Associated Press

http://hosted2.ap.org/COGRA/APWorldNews/Article_2011-08-30-ML-Libya-Water-Crisis/id-b3fbf91b784b4a23a13ac4edd24e4374

8/30/11

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) A-c-a*NOTa** Attacks by Moammar Gadhafi's forces on
engineers deep in the Libyan desert caused the massive water shortage
that has left the capital without running water for a week, a rebel
official said Tuesday.
Regime forces fired on repair crews a week ago as they tried to restart
pumps bringing water from deep acquifers some 700 kilometers (450 miles)
south of Tripoli, the official, Aref Ali Nayeb, told The Associated
Press.

The water from those acquifers feeds a vast water network that supplies
the capital, Nayeb said. The security situation in the remote area
around the wells remains unstable, but rebel leaders are trying to find
a way to send repair crews back to the desert site, known as Jebel
Hassouna, he said.
In the meantime, drinking water is reaching Tripoli in trucks from other
towns and in shipments of bottled water, some from neighboring Tunisia,
said Nayeb, who heads the Libya Stabilization Team. The Stabilization
Team is a group of professionals assisting the fledgling government
being set up to replace Gadhafi's crumbling regime. City residents are
also using neighborhood wells, he said.
Most of the city's residents are now able to get drinking water, though
bathing remains a luxury.
Officials with the European Union's humanitarian aid office said it will
bring in more tankers and bottled water if they are needed.
"According to the information received by our experts, the pumping
stations in Jebel Hassouna were closed by government forces when they
where fleeing from the capital," Irina Novakova, a spokeswoman for the
aid unit, said in an email to AP.
"We understand that efforts are ongoing to restart the water
distribution system, but the security situation along the road to the
pumping stations is unpredictable," Novakova said.
Nayeb said the problem started when retreating Gadhafi forces
intentionally brought down power lines, disrupting the flow of
electricity. After engineers got the grid working again, they had to
reset the desert water pumps individually.

A week ago, crews working on the pumps came under fire by Gadhafi
forces, he said, adding that it's not yet clear when repair crews will
be able to return.
Loyalist forces "still have harassment capabilities in the area, and we
need to make sure this is neutralized," before the crews can return, he
said.

___

Associated Press writer Frank Jordans in Geneva, Switzerland contributed
reporting.

On 8/30/11 7:37 PM, Bayless Parsley wrote:

We're not ready for this to run. There is not a clear idea on whether
the eastern and western systems are in fact separated, something I've
been researching for a few hours and which I am still here
researching.

The ECHO report cited in this Reuters article today seems to indicate
that there is in fact some sort of connection between the eastern and
western systems, as does some of the research I've done aside from
that. This article, though, implies that the connection was cut off by
Gadhafi loyalists in Sirte in recent days.

This is a separate issue from the one that affects only the western
system, which draws water from the Jebel Hassouna region (which I
CANNOT FIND ON A MAP for the life of me, but I have a rough idea where
it is; it is near Sabha). The ECHO report apparently states that only
about 30 of the some 500 wells which supply the western system are
currently online, which to me does not indicate that there is only a
problem at Ash Shawayrif.

So much shit doesn't add up here, and I am writing an email to two
people at ECHO in the hopes that they respond overnight.

Why are so many wells not functioning? What does it mean to say the
Berber tribes "control" the wells around Jeben Hassouna, and have done
so since Friday? If they "control" these wells, why can't the ICRC
technical team go in immediately to assess the situation? If they
"control" these wells, then wouldn't it be logical that they also
control Ash Shwayrif?

Other comments:

- I wouldn't be so confident in the numbers you have provided, seeing
as I am pretty much not confident in ANY of the sources I've been
using in my research. If anything, just need to be very clear how
contradictory all the information is on this project in the OS. And
because of that, a lot of the conclusions drawn from it are not really
air tight.

- I don't know who controls Ash Shwayrif. First mission is finding out
where the hell the Jebel Hassouna region is, because that is the
source of the water. Second mission is finding out if there is a
connection between the eastern and western systems or not (a.k.a. is
Sirte important to this story at all?) Third mission is finding out
why the fuck the reservoir at Gharyan is dry (I assume it's because
the wells are offline).

- Do not forget that they can still ship in emergency supplies of
water, and that the NTC is reportedly in discussions with the Greek
government about lending some of their tankers to do this. That will
stave off a complete crisis, for now.

On 8/30/11 7:23 PM, Peter Zeihan wrote:

im not pegging this as a piece right now becuase i don't know what's
going on in Ash Shawayrif -- once i get some help from bayless and
nate on that, i'll make this formal

Link: themeData

This probably wona**t come as a surprise to our readers, but Libya
is a desert. That means that there is hardly any water, and that
tends to keep the regiona**s population very small. Modern Libya
exists because of something called the Great Manmade River (GMR), a
massive subsurface water harvesting and transport system that taps
aquifers deep in the Sahara and transports it to Libyaa**s
Mediterranean Coast. Since the first phase of the a**rivera**sa**
construction in 1991, Libyaa**s population has doubled. Remove that
river and, well, there would very likely be a very rapid natural
correction back to normal carrying capacities.



All of populated Libya benefits from the GMR, but it is not at
present a unified network. The eastern half stands apart and has
worked largely without interruption for the entirety of the war. The
western half that supplies Tripoli has similar functioned without
interruption until the past few days. There are currently severe
water shortages in Tripoli, indicating that the GMR is likely
working at well below capacity if it is even on-line at all.



The specific point of concern in the GMRa**s geography is a place in
the western portion of the country called Ash Shawayrif, the
location of a distribution/flow-control station. This one location
would allow the entirety of the GMRa**s contribution to the water
supply of the greater Tripoli area to be shut off. Ash Shawayrif is
somewhat contesteda*|. Mesa folks, need your thoughts here. As I
understand it A-S is pretty much dead center in the
who-controls-what game



The Tripoli region faces a serious bind. Out if its 422,000 cubic
meters of daily water demand, only 192,000 comes from local
groundwater. Another 52,000 cubic meters comes from desalination,
but with electricity interruptions already wracking the city this is
a supplemental supply that is at best questionable. The balance --
of about 172,000 cubic meters -- normally from the GMR.



In fact its worse that it seems. These figures do not cover water
used for agricultural needs. Under normal crisis scenarios the
government would halt the use of water for agriculture -- which is
what roughly 70 percent of the GMRa**s output is directed towards --
preserving it instead for human consumption. Implementing such a
crisis control measure would not solve the problem, but it would
greatly simplify mitigation efforts down to a**onlya** 172,000 cubic
meters a day. Unfortunately, Libya doesna**t have a government right
now and thata**s doubly so for Tripoli where rebels only recently
displaced the Gadhafi regime. That leaves it needing the equivalent
of a supertanker filled with water distributing its cargo to Tripoli
every two days, assuming that all Libyan farmers respond to water
shortages by letting their crops wither in the unforgiving desert
sun.



I may have more to add based on what MESA folks say about A-S (in
essence that now the rebels have to do something theya**ve never yet
demonstrated that they can: launch a major attack on a defended
position)